I’m pleased to announce availability of the Help Viewer Power Tool for Visual Studio 2010.  This Power Tool adds keyword index capability to the Help Viewer with an option to display help in a standalone window.

Prerequisites

·         Visual Studio 2010

·         Microsoft Help Viewer

·         Silverlight 3.0 or above

 

Compatibility

·         Supported Editions:  The Help Viewer Power Tool works with all editions of Visual Studio 2010 outside of TFS.

·         Supported Languages:  The Help Viewer Power Tool is not localized (i.e. it has an EN-US user interface) but it is compatible with localized editions of Visual Studio.

·         Supported Browsers:  Your default browser must support Silverlight when Help Viewer is configured for in-browser experience.  (The standalone mode does not have this dependency.) 

 

Note: IE Enhanced Security needs to be turned off to use the Power Tool on Windows Server

 

Benefits

The Help Viewer Power Tool supports two modes:  in-browser and standalone.

1.       The Power Tool defaults to an in-browser experience that adds two additional tabs – Index and Search – to the left pane using a Silverlight control.  In addition, the left pane is now fully resizable.

2.       The Power Tool can be configured to provide a standalone experience with three tabs for navigating content: Contents, Search Results, and Index.  This mode provides some additional features over the in-browser experience:

·         The help window has its own icon and is easily located in the task bar.

·         The help window can be pinned to the Win7 Taskbar.

·         F1 queries overlay the previous help topic (eliminates tab proliferation).

·         The standalone window is resizable and can be positioned independently without affecting browser settings.

 

How do I install the Power Tool?

The Power Tool is available on MSDN Code Gallery at http://code.msdn.microsoft.com/HelpViewerPowerTool/.  Download or run the .EXE appropriate to your architecture:

·         HelpPowerTool_enu_x86.exe (32-bit version)

·         HelpPowerTool_enu_x64.exe (64-bit version)

 

How do I switch to standalone mode?

1)      From your system drive, run the following from an elevated command prompt:

cd \program files\microsoft help viewer\v1.0

hlpvwpt.exe standaloneviewer=true

2)      Shut down any instances of the Help Library Agent.  Right-click on the Help Library Agent icon in the taskbar and select ‘Exit.

 

How do I switch back to in-browser mode?

1)      From your system drive, run the following from an elevated command prompt:

cd \program files\microsoft help viewer\v1.0

hlpvwpt.exe standaloneviewer=false

2)      Shut down any instances of the Help Library Agent.  Right-click on the Help Library Agent icon in the taskbar and select ‘Exit.

 

How do I uninstall the Power Tool?

1)      Go to Control Panel and select either Add/Remove Programs or Programs and Features.

2)      Locate the entry for Help Viewer Power Tool and select remove or uninstall.

 

If you have any questions or problems with the Power Tool, you can leave comments below, or go to the Developer Documentation and Help System forum at: http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/devdocs/threads